S&P 500 CEOs See Comp Increase by 28% in 2010

May 17, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Median total compensation for S&P 500 CEOs grew by 28.2% from 2009 to 2010, marking a significant increase in pay after two consecutive years of decline, according to a report from Equilar, an executive compensation data firm.

In 2010, median total compensation for S&P 500 CEOs was approximately $9.0 million, up from approximately $7.0 million in 2009.  

Equilar said the bonus payout was the component of total compensation that saw the most growth from 2009 to 2010. Median total bonus payouts for S&P 500 CEOs increased to $2,150,000 in 2010, up 43.3% from the 2009 median of $1,500,000. Additionally, 85.1% of CEOs received an annual bonus payout in 2010, compared to 73.6% in 2009.  

While the prevalence of options remained steady, at 71.3 percent in both 2009 and 2010, restricted stock and performance shares each gained in prevalence during 2010. In 2010, the prevalence of time-based restricted stock and performance shares grew to 57.4% and 62%, respectively.  

Equilar found some notable changes in pay package design in 2010. Options became a smaller part of the compensation mix, though they still represented about 20% of 2010 pay. Both stock-based awards and bonus payouts became larger segments of total compensation, rising to 38.2% and 27.2% of total pay in 2010, respectively.  

During the past year, the prevalence of chief executives receiving options, restricted stock, and performance shares grew 32.1%. The only other areas that saw increases were the use of restricted stock only, which grew 4.5%, and the use of restricted stock and performance shares, rising 12.5%.  

More information is at http://www.equilar.com.